1st Day: You will arrive in Istanbul, the biggest city of modern Turkey. We will welcome you and you will relax in your hotel.
2nd Day: We will have an extensive tour of Istanbul. Istanbul is the only city located in 2 continents and was the capital city of 3 empires. Our first visit will be to the legendary St. Sophia which was built 1,500 years ago as the first cathedral of the world. It was the biggest and last construction of The Roman Empire. Following we will visit the famous Blue Mosque. After lunch you will have free time in one of the oldest shopping places in the world, the Grand Bazaar. In the afternoon we will visit the Chora Museum which is one of the most beautiful samples of Byzantine art. Overnight in Istanbul.
3rd Day: In the morning we will have a Bosphorus cruise tour and you will see the beauty of Istanbul. Next we will visit the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans used to rule the Empire. After lunch you will have free time in the famous Spice Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul.
4th Day: Today we will fly to Ankara. We will visit the Anatolian Civilization Museum which was awarded the title of the best European museum in 1997. You will see the richest and most unique collections of Hittite and Frig civilizations. Later we will visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk, who was the founder of the Modern Turkey. Overnight in Ankara.
5th Day: Today we will drive to Hattusas which was the capital city of the Hittite Empire, where iron was used for the first time in the world. Hattusas is the biggest Hittite city which can be visited today. We will visit the biggest open air temple of the Hittite world, “Yazilikaya”. Finally we will drive to Cappodocia for overnight.
6th Day: We will see dreamlike Cappadocia, Goreme open air museum, monasteries and churches, founded by St Basil, with the most beautiful frescos inside. We will visit the unusual Gumusler Monastery where the only smiling fresco of Virgin Mary is found. Also the controversial story of Apollonius of Tynna will be mentioned. Cappadocia is the best place for hot-air balloon tours, which areas optional. Overnight in Cappadocia.
7th Day: After breakfast we will again spend the whole day in Cappadocia. We will see Uchisar, Urgup, Avanos, Zelve and the famous underground city where early Christians lived and hid. Overnight in Cappadocia.
8th Day: Today our bus will drive on the historical Silk Road and will stop at the biggest Caravanserai situated on that road. After having our lunch in Konya we will visit the museum of Mevlana who was a very famous philosopher who lived in the 13th century A.D. Then our bus will drive through the breathtaking landscape of the famous Taurus Mountain and will reach Antalya which is located on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey. Overnight in Antalya.
9th Day: Our first trip is to the ancient city of Perge which St. Paul visited with St. Mark. We will visit the well preserved ruins of the Roman Era. Later, we will travel to Aspendos where a most well preserved ancient theater is situated. After lunch we will have the chance to visit the museum optionally with no extra charge. Overnight Antalya.
10th Day: We will pass the Taurus Mountain secondly and finally by seeing the oldest Turkish nomads and will reach and visit Pamukkale which is famous for its calcium terraces and the ruins of the Roman city Hierapolis. Overnight Pamukkale.
11th Day: Today our bus will drive through the Meander Valley to reach Izmir. On the way before lunch we will visit the wonderful ancient city of Aphrodisias which was dedicated to goddess Aphrodite. You will be able to see the best preserved stadium which seated 30.000 spectators. Overnight in Izmir.
12th Day: This day will be another highlight. After one hour driving we will be in Ephesus. We will have an extensive tour of this ancient site where you will see the Hadrian’s, Trajan’s and the Domitian’s Temples, the huge Roman bath, the Celcus Library and the biggest amphitheater of Turkey. Also in the site we will see the first church ever dedicated to the Virgin Mary, where the 3rd ecumenical council met. After lunch we will visit the tomb and Church of St. John. Overnight in Izmir.
13th Day: Today we will drive to the north and see Pergamum which consists of 2 sites; the Acropolis where the Kings of Pergamum used to stay and the Asclepion one of the oldest and biggest ancient hospitals in Anatolia Pergamum is also the place where the first paper (parchment) was made. After lunch we will visit Troy reading the passages from the Iliad of Homer. Overnight in Canakkale.
14th Day: We will drive to Bursa which was the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire. In this city which is also called “Green Bursa” we will visit 2 important mosques; the famous Ulu and Green Mosques. Since many Ottoman Sultans, their wives and children were buried in Bursa we will visit some of their tombs. Overnight in Bursa.
15th Day: Today we will turn back to Istanbul and on the way we will stop in Iznik, the ancient Nicea. Nicea is the place where the first ecumenical council of Christianity met in 325 AD. Overnight in Istanbul.
16th Day: Free day in Istanbul.
17th Day: Transfer to the airport. Fly back home.